Missouri Episcopalians Stand in Solidarity with Refugees

Immediate release 11/25/2015                                                 

In a resolution passed this weekend, the 176th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri urged its membership of 11,500 Episcopalians in the eastern half of the state to stand in solidarity with refugees and migrants.

Prayer, advocacy with government and elected officials, and active participation in resettlement efforts locally and nationally were called for by resolution I-176, passed on Nov. 21, 2015 at the judicatory’s annual meeting held in Chesterfield.

The convention asks all Americans to rely on “our deeply-held common values of freedom, liberty, and justice for all as we continue today the tradition of welcoming those fleeing persecution and seeking freedom in this nation of immigrants.”

Public officials were charged to “resist politicizing the acceptance of refugees based upon national identity, race, or religion.” The convention urged support for the work of the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Justice and other branches of the United States Government in screening refugees hoping to resettle here.

“The story of migrants and refugees are at the heart of our scriptures. ‘Welcome the stranger among you’ is commanded to God’s people more than once in the Bible,” said the Rev. Mike Angell, one of the authors of the resolution.  Angell is rector of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in University City, a church that includes migrant families, and is committed to refugee advocacy.

The convention encouraged its members to pray “for all of those whose lives have been affected by terrorism, including refugees fleeing Syria.”

The resolution urged a more engaged relationship with three organizations actively working on refugee and migration issues: Episcopal Migration Ministries, which is the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s refugee resettlement service; the Episcopal Public Policy Network , an advocacy organization; and the International Institute of St. Louis.

The resolution’s rationale included quotes from newly installed Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, “We welcome the stranger. We love our neighbor. The Episcopal Church has long been committed to resettling in our own communities refugees fleeing violence and persecution.”

Full text of the resolution is online at diocesemo.org/I-176.

More Info

Contact: the Rev. Mike Angell, 314-669-6231
Rector, Holy Communion Church, U City

Contact: Beth Felice, 314-398-2209
Communications Director, Diocese of Missouri

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Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringThere are 42 congregations in the Diocese (30 are parishes and 12 are organized missions), campus ministry (Rockwell House), and an intentional community (Deaconess Anne House). A parish is financially self-supporting. Typically the lead cleric at a parish is a Rector, and at a mission is a Vicar.

Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringOur bishop and ecclesiastical leader is the Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith who is the tenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri.

Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringAccording to parochial reports in 2015, there are 11,500 active members in this diocese. The 21 churches in metropolitan St. Louis have about 76% of members. The Tables of Statistics for all dioceses in The Episcopal Church, including the Diocese of Missouri, are maintained online.

Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringThe 2014 Diocesan Operating Budget as passed by the 175th Diocesan Convention projected expenditures totaling $2,204,025.00.

Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringIn 2015 there were 124 ordained men (73) and women (51) canonically resident in the diocese, of whom 54 (40 men, 14 women) are retired, with an additional 22 licensed to officiate in this diocese. There are 19 persons in the ordination process.

Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringThe Bishop and Diocesan Council plan policy and recommend a budget for the program of the Diocese, which is approved each year at the annual Diocesan Convention.

Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringThere are six Convocation (districts) in the Diocese. The Members of Convention meet from time to time during the recess of Convention in district assemblies called Convocations. They are charged with: familiarize Convention delegates with proposed resolutions and diocesan goals and budget; to provide communication between delegates and Diocesan Council; to facilitate communication between Diocesan Council and Vestries/Bishop's Committees; to elect Diocesan Council members and to propose nominees for Standing Committee, Diocesan Council Members At Large, Cathedral Chapter and General Convention Deputies; and to promote Christian fellowship. Convocations determine their own structure and elect officers as needed.

Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringThe Diocese has had a companion relationship with the Diocese of Lui in southern Sudan since April 2006. The Diocese previously had a companion relationship with the Anglican dioceses of northern Nigeria and with the Diocese of Puerto Rico.



The Mission of the Diocese of Missouri is the mission of all baptized Christians: to teach and to spread the Gospel and its knowledge of salvation to all people; and to make the love of Christ known in the world through our own actions as individuals, as congregations, and as the Diocese, by feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, caring for the sick, visiting the prisoner, and comforting those in times of trouble.Adopted at the 154th Convention, February 1994.


Making Disciples
Building Congregations
For the Life of the World

Presented at the 168th Diocesan Convention, 2007

Diomo Gray Trans background no letteringThe Diocese of Missouri consists of the territory embraced within the City of St. Louis, and the following fifty four Counties of the State of Missouri:

Adair, Audrain, Bollinger, Boone, Butler, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Clark, Cole, Crawford, Dent, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Iron, Jefferson, Knox, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Maries, Marion, Miller, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Oregon, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Pulaski, Ralls, Randolph, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Charles, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, St. Louis, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, Shannon, Shelby, Stoddard, Texas, Warren, Washington, Wayne.